Rogers State University has named Steve Valencia as its new Vice President for Development to oversee fundraising initiatives, planned giving, endowments and alumni programs. He begins at RSU on Sept. 30.
Valencia brings more than 20 years of successful advancement work in higher education, including leadership roles for two fundraising campaigns that raised more than $30 million at the regional university level. He most recently has served as Associate Vice President for University Relations at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, his alma mater.
RSU President Dr. Larry Rice said Valencia’s extensive experience and passion for the role of regional universities made him a great fit for leading the university’s development efforts.
“From the initial conversation, we could tell that Steve shared our vision for making RSU a pre-eminent regional university that serves our local communities, as well as all of northeastern Oklahoma and surrounding states,” Rice said. “Steve brings with him an exceptional background in fundraising, communications and management. He has a demonstrated history as a team builder, and I am excited for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to meet and work with him as we strengthen the university.”
Rice said that generating more private support through fundraising is even more important today as state support for higher education has significantly decreased in recent years.
“In these times, it’s crucial for public universities to work closely with the private sector in order to maintain high levels of service while keeping college costs affordable for all students who wish to improve their lives through a college degree,” Rice said.
An NWOSU alumnus who worked his way up to administration during his 23-year career at the school, Valencia said joining the RSU family was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“I am a product of the regional university, and I have seen first-hand the impacts that a strong regional university like RSU can bring both to its students and the communities it serves,” he said. “The sky’s the limit for RSU’s potential, and I am looking forward to strengthening the university’s connection with its alumni and friends to help fully realize its potential.”
During his time at NWOSU, Valencia provided leadership in two major funding campaigns for the school – a $6 million campaign supporting its transition to NCAA Division II athletics and the $28 million comprehensive campaign, the first in the school’s history. In addition, he also oversaw management of the university’s external affairs, including government and legislative relations.
Valencia noted that RSU has one of the most distinctive histories in all of Oklahoma higher education, in large part due to the legacy of its predecessor institutions, Oklahoma Military Academy and Rogers State College.
A native of Waynoka in northwestern Oklahoma, Valencia said he and his wife Janet look forward to making their home in Claremore. The couple has one daughter, Jennifer, who resides in Oklahoma City.